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Kure Beach Approves Sponsorship Fundraiser For Oceanfront Park

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KURE BEACH - The Kure Beach Town Council discussed ways to raise revenue at their June 19, meeting to help cover funding for their new Oceanfront Park downtown on Atlantic Avenue. The Town still has to fund approximately $1 million dollars of the original $3.6 million purchase for the land. The rest has been funded through grants. Town Clerk Nancy Avery said the idea of sponsorship opportunities has been discussed before but due to delays with construction of the park and completion of renovations to the existing boardwalk area, those discussions were put on the back burner.
Avery explained since the boardwalk area is nearing completion, the Council could consider starting in that area by offering citizens and businesses the opportunity to pay for a permanent sign showing they donated funds for the project.
Avery explained, "The idea I'm bringing to you tonight is a fish" made out of a long lasting material called Corian, "That is actually embedded into the plank. It's routed out in the shape of a fish" containing three rows of text such as "In honor of or in memory of" or other phrases indicating the donors. The text is sand blasted into the material.
Avery said a similar campaign in the Otter Banks was very successful for the state-owned Jeanette's Pier. She said, "They sold 2,115 of these fish at $200 each."
Avery said she's spoken with the person who made the fish for that project.
She said orders would be fulfilled in lots of 25 or 50 at a time and there are 1,200 planks on the Kure Beach boardwalk.
The fish are embedded in epoxy resin to withstand the elements and the only issue discovered with the other project was some fading. She said that issue will be resolved using darker colors. She said there are no definite figures on how long they will last.
Avery said Jeanette's Pier also sold spots on benches. The new park calls for four benches along the wooden boardwalk. She said, "Maybe $1,800 for the benches and $2,000 for the swings."
One bench cost approximately $400 to the Town.
Council member Emilie Swearingen asked, "Why are we selling them for $1,800 when it's costing us $400?"
Avery said, "To raise money."
Swearingen said, "I can't imagine anybody paying almost $2,000.
Avery said, "Actually I've got people interested in the bench and about six people interested in the fish... but it's up to Council to set the price."
Swearingen recommended double-sided fish plaques on the benches splitting the price between two people.
Avery said right now benches are only located on the boardwalk in front of the park site.
She said similar options could be offered once the park itself is completed.
Councilman Steve Pagley made a motion to accept the recommendation. The Council voted unanimously.
Avery explained Tuesday, "We will be working with Ruth Arnold Graphics and Signs... Each fish will be $220."
She said, "We will also offer sponsorship of the four swings on the boardwalk at $2,000 each and ten benches on the boardwalk at $1,800 each.
The swings and benches will have the same engraved fish design in a different color. We estimate netting $179,000 from this if all 1,200 planks have a fish."
Avery said the Town currently owes approximately one million dollars for the acquisition of the land for the park and around $347,000 for development of the park. She explained, "I hope this will be the first
phase of fundraising. If successful we'll do something similar in the park site with the swings and benches and maybe engraved pavers or a plaque - not sure yet."
To inquire about the sponsorship opportunity, call Town Hall at 910-458-8216.